With the publication of her book of recipes and recollections, My Wild Atlantic Kitchen, Maura Foley has placed an elegant capstone on one of the defining careers in Irish food.Her work helped to create the town of Kenmare not just as a food lovers destination, but as a place that exhibited, and insisted upon, high standards, in every elements of one’s work. Mrs Foley herself was always, always, on top of her work, but what is extraordinary about what she has achieved is the fact that she has achieved so much in every aspect of the creative arts to which she set her mind.She is known as a great cook, but she is also a superb designer. She is as opinionated about fashion and style as she is about the correct way to make scallops with a Noilly Prat sauce. She is that rarest of creatures: a true polymath, able to switch from baker to chef, from chef to restaurateur, from restaurateur to country house host, and able to do all these things at the very highest level.Above all, her book reveals a chef who can synthesise all her influences and experiences into her own distinctive métier. Maura Foley has always been hungry to travel, to get involved, to be a player, and she has been a player in Ireland’s food culture for six decades. Her achievement is without parallel, her contribution to Ireland’s food culture is simply immense.
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